Hotels and resorts not included in vacation rental suspension order

Health

Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — When we last spoke with local vacation rental owners like Paula Norris, every new day meant more money lost due to the Governor Ron DeSantis’s executive order suspending rentals throughout the state.

“I’ve lost over ten thousand dollars with the three rentals that I have here,” said Norris just after that order was issued.

Now, some residents are wondering exactly what type of rentals this order applies to, since many hotels and resorts in the area are still taking new reservations. 

“My understanding is that hotels are exempt from this,” said Bay County Tourist Development Council Executive Director, Dan Rowe. “This applies to vacation rentals.”

The order, which can be found here, defines vacation rentals as rental houses and condominiums, and does not include hotels, motels, inns and resorts.

Rowe says in terms of reported vacation rentals in the area, only around 10 percent are occupied as of Friday.

“I imagine those rentals were in place before the executive order went into place,” he said. 

He added that around this time of year, the rentals are usually around 85 percent occupied.

“[It] clearly demonstrates that most people are playing by the rules,” said Rowe.

We reached out to several hotels and resorts in the area to see how many new reservations they’re receiving every day; we have not yet gotten a response.

However, Rowe believes the numbers say it all.

“From the information that we’re seeing, there are very few people here,” he said. “I think that right now most people are taking the coronavirus very seriously, and are staying at home, sheltering in place.”

He said that anyone who believes that the order is not being followed can report that information through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Click here to be directed to their online complaint form.


Report a coronavirus-related news tip

We’re working to cover how COVID-19 is affecting Floridians like you, beyond what official information is being released.

Have you or someone close to you been monitored, quarantined or tested — and can you share about the process? Are you a medical professional dealing with this who wants to share your experience and needs at this time? Are you a student or worker affected by closures? Are there questions you have about the coronavirus and COVID-19 response that haven’t been answered? We want to hear about your experience.

We cannot provide medical advice. Please speak to your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing

We understand this is a sensitive and private issue and we are willing to protect your identity if you request it. Please include a valid email and/or phone number so we can follow up.

Please fill out the form below or email news@wmbb.com

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The Coronavirus Pandemic

More Coronavirus Pandemic

Latest Local News Video

SWFD reports one drowning on Sunday, advises swimmers to follow flag sytem

Thumbnail for the video titled "SWFD reports one drowning on Sunday, advises swimmers to follow flag sytem"

Boating buisnesses takes off during Memorial Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Boating buisnesses takes off during Memorial Day"

Tattoo parlor forced to closed after car runs into shop

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tattoo parlor forced to closed after car runs into shop"

Locals and tourists honor Memorial Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Locals and tourists honor Memorial Day"

Family reunited after DNA test

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family reunited after DNA test"

Man injured during Sunday night fight in Panama City Beach

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man injured during Sunday night fight in Panama City Beach"
More Local News